Tea growing in Rwanda started around 1952 and since then tea growing has increased in importance to the economy. Tea growing currently ranks as the second largest traditional export crop in Rwanda. Rwanda’s tea marketing system continues to be dominated by state owned companies.
Tea is cultivated mainly on large plantations, which are owned and managed by about a dozen tea factories that process green tea into black tea. The area under tea production is about 15,000ha. There are relatively small amounts of tea produced by tea cooperatives and private growers which are sold to the tea factories.
The tea factories include the following:
Rwanda Mountain Tea, Kitabi Tea Factory, Mata Tea Factory, Gisakura Tea Factory, Mulindi. The tea production in Rwanda has increased from 5,414 tons in 1995 to over 23,000 tons in by 2010.